STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

7/20/2001 9:30 - 10:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


STAR GAZER

Episode # 01-32 / 1235th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 8/6/2001 through Sunday 8/12/2001

"The Moon Visits 3 Bright Planets
and Comes So Close To Venus
It Will Take Your Breath Away!"

 

Horkheimer : Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and if you go outside before dawn you'll see 3 bright planets which will be visited next week by an exquisite waning crescent moon. And mark Thursday August 16th as superduper Venus/Moon day. Let me show you:

O.K., We've got our skies set up for just before dawn this week on Monday August 6th facing due east where the most obvious thing in the sky is 2 bright planets huddled up right next to each other in what we call an extremely close conjunction. The brightest of the 2, the second planet from the sun, 8,000 mile wide dazzling Venus and right beside it and dimmer, only because it's much farther away, the king of the planets which is actually 11 times the diameter of venus, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter.

And up above them both and dimmer still because it's twice as far away as Jupiter, the ringed planet, 75,000 mile wide Saturn. And beside it the red eye of Taurus the Bull, a star so huge it could hold millions of Saturns, Jupiters and Venuses, our old friend, 35 million mile wide Aldebaran. And above it and Saturn, the tiny star cluster the Seven Sisters, The Pleiades, and rising just above the east/south east horizon, the most famous constellation of winter, Orion the hunter.

But it's the 3 planets and our nearest neighbor the Moon which we're going to zero in on because when the moon joins Saturn, Jupiter and Venus we'll see some breathtaking planet/moon combinations. So let's zip right on to next week starting with Monday August 13th and voila! What a dramatic change between Jupiter and Venus because now Jupiter is well past it. And up and to the right of Saturn and Aldebaran an exquisite waning crescent moon has joined them and makes a lovely triangle with the 2. Then on Tuesday the 14th a slightly slimmer crescent will have moved just past Saturn and Aldebaran heading straight for Jupiter and Venus. And although it never cuddles up right next to Jupiter, on Wednesday the 15th it hovers just above it and makes a lovely cosmic picture.

But the day to go out if you can't go out any other day is Thursday August 16th because then an extremely slender sliver of a Moon will be huddled right up next to dazzling Venus in a picture that will absolutely take your breath away, on top of which you'll be able to see the new moon in the old moon's arms which will look like an almost black full moon held inside the crescent. It's a phenomenon we call earthshine which simply means sunlight bounces directly off the Moon to form the crescent but light bouncing from Earth to the Moon dimly illuminates the rest of it. Please don't miss this ... It's absolutely wonderful. And on the 17th an even thinner crescent with earthshine will be huddled just above the horizon. Once again, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and ta da! Thursday and finally Friday. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#01-32 M

8/06/2001 thru 8/12/2001

"The Moon Visits Three Bright Planets"


Horkheimer: Next week an exquisite crescent moon visits 3 bright planets.
Face due east at dawn on Monday and there you'll see brilliant Venus and above it Jupiter and above it Saturn and the eye of Taurus the Bull, Aldebaran just above a crescent Moon making a lovely triangle with the two. On Tuesday a slimmer crescent will have moved just past Saturn and on Wednesday will hover just above Jupiter. But the one day you can't miss is Thursday because then an extremely slender sliver of a Moon with a black almost full Moon nestled inside it will be huddled right next to dazzling Venus. A cosmic sight you'll not soon forget. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.

Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer







STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

7/20/2001 9:30 - 10:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.



 

STAR GAZER

Episode #01-33 /1236th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 8/13/2001 through Sunday 8/19/2001

"Mars and The Two Marvelous Star Clusters That Ride Above The Scorpion's Tail"

Horkheimer : Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and even though Mars has dimmed down a lot since its super close meeting with Earth on the first night of summer, nevertheless it is still brighter right now than it was during its close meetings every other year in the 90's. And this week and next it is lined up in a row with M-6 and M-7, two incredible star clusters that ride above the scorpion's tail. Let me show you:

O.K., We've got our skies set up for any night this week and next between 9 and 10 P.M. Looking south where the brightest thing you'll see will be dazzling brassy, rouge-gold Mars. Then if you look underneath Mars you will see the fish hook shaped group of star called Scorpius the scorpion. 3 stars mark the head of the scorpion, the bright red star Antares marks its heart and several stars form a curve at the end of which are 2 stars which mark its stinger. And if you don't have too much city light around you, on a moonless night you can see what looks like 2 tiny fuzzy clouds just above and to the left of the stinger. But unlike earthly clouds, these 2 cosmic clouds never move and never go away. And this week and next you can draw a straight line right through them to Mars.

Now these 2 clouds were named M-6 and M-7 by Charles Messier, an 18th century astronomer who made a list of fuzzy cloud-like objects so he wouldn't get confused when he went comet hunting. You see to the naked eye M-6 and M-7 do indeed look like comet heads, but through a telescope they're far more wonderful. In fact, M-6 and M-7 are great clusters of stars, other suns far far away.


Now the brighter cluster of the 2, M-7 has about 80 stars in it which are visible through a telescope and it is 800 light years away which means that the light we see right now is the light that left these stars 800 years ago around 1200 A.D. And although M-6 also has about 80 stars it is dimmer because it is exactly twice as far away as M-7, 1600 light years away which means that the light we see from these stars is the light that left them around 1600 years ago around 400 A.D. There is however, one major difference between M-6 and M-7 because whereas M-6's stars are extremely hot blue-white stars, M-7's stars are much much cooler, kind of yellow gold like our sun.

So get thee out some night this week and next, draw a straight line from Mars down through M-6 and M-7, find them first with the naked eye, then look at them through a pair of binoculars and wow! You'll want to look at them every summer of your life. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.



Star Gazer Minute

#01-33 M

8/13/2001 thru 8/19/2001

"Two Marvelous Star Clusters
That Ride The Scorpion's Tail"

 

Horkheimer : Mars is still super bright and you can use it to find 2 wonderful star clusters, look south between 9 and 10 P.M for the fish hook shaped constellation Scorpius the scorpion. Antares marks its heart and 2 stars mark its stinger and on a dark, moonless night with a pair of binoculars you can see 2 tiny fuzzy clouds just above the stinger called M-6 and M-7. M-7 is a cluster of 80 stars 800 light years away which means the light we see right now is the light that left it in 1200 A.D. M-6 also has 80 stars and is 1600 light years away which means that the light we see now left it in 400 A.D. And right now they're on a straight line with Mars. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

7/20/2001 9:30 - 10:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)

Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.



STAR GAZER

Episode # 01-34 / 1237th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 8/20/2001 through Sunday 8/26/2001

"Planet George At Its Brightest and Closest
to Earth This Week
And How To Find It ... Maybe "

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and right now planet George is at its closest and brightest for the entire year and with a little luck, using the moon as a finder you may even be able to see it. Let me show you:

O.K., We've got our skies set up for any clear night this week and next at midnight facing due south where, if you have dark skies, you will see the dim stars of Capricorn. Down and to its right you will see the famous bright stars of Sagittarius and to Capricorn's left the brightest star in this part of the heavens, the star Fomalhaut. And just at the eastern tip of Capricorn, the very distant and very dim, although 3rd largest planet in our solar system; which was originally named George. Now it was discovered not by a professional astronomer, but by a professional oboist and organist who only did astronomy as a hobby. His name was Sir William Herschel and over 200 years ago in 1781, after calculating the orbit of a presumed comet he had discovered, he suddenly realized that his comet was not a comet at all, but was in fact a planet.

So, excitedly, he immediately named it for his benefactor, George the Third of England. Thus the 7th planet from the sun was originally named George, well for a while anyway. You see this really irked politically incorrect non-George loving astronomers so they renamed it Herschel after its discoverer. But then a few disgruntled astronomers made claims that they had seen it before Herschel, even though they didn't know it was a planet, so they insisted that it shouldn't be named either George or Herschel, but should be named after one of the ancient gods as were all the other planets. So they named it for the Greek god who had charge over all the heavens, the god Uranus, a god who was both the son and husband of Gaia, the Earth goddess, and who was also the father of the Titans and the race of one-eyed giants known as the Cyclops. Busy fellow.

Now sadly Herschel never lived long enough to learn much about the planet George, renamed Herschel, renamed Uranus because this planet is even stranger than the god for which it was named. Indeed, Uranus is called the sideways planet because it travels around the sun on its side with its north pole pointed directly at the sun during part of its orbit and its south pole pointed at the sun during the other part which creates the longest seasons ever on any planet in our solar system. In fact, because it takes Uranus 84 years to make one orbit around the sun, each season on Uranus is 21 earth years long. Talk about a long hard winter!

To help you find it, look due south around midnight Friday August 31st with a pair of binoculars, and first find the Moon then look directly above it, 6 moon widths away and there you'll see a teeny, weeny blue green disc which in reality is 4 times the width of our Earth, 32,000 miles wide, has its own set of 10 rings, and supports a family of 15 moons. It's as strange as the way it got its name. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#01-34 M

8/20/2001 thru 8/26/2001

"How To Find Planet George Next Week"

 

Horkheimer: Next week planet George will be at its closest and brightest for the entire year.To find it look south around midnight, Friday the 31st with a pair of binoculars for a teeny weeny blue-green disc, 6 moon widths above the Moon. Discovered in 1781 it was originally named for kKng George the Third, then renamed Herschel for its discoverer, then renamed again for the Greek god Uranus. It is called the sideways planet because it travels around the Sun on its side which makes each season on Uranus 21 Earth years long. 4 times as wide as our Earth,it has 10 rings and 15 moons. Planet number 7, as strange as the way it got its name. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer





STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

7/20/2001 9:30 - 10:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #01-35 /1238th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 8/27/2001 through Sunday 9/2/2001

"This Year's Strange Non-Harvest
September Moon
and Dueling Constellations"

 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and this week I'd like to tell you why this September's full moon will not be the Harvest Moon and why it will give less light than any other full moon of the entire year. Plus, we'll show you 2 ancient dueling constellations.

O.K., We've got our skies set up for Sunday night, September 2nd, facing east just after sunset where you will see the lovely full moon of September just rising because as you may recall, the full moon always rises just as the sun sets and is visible all night long, reaching its highest point at midnight and setting in the west just as the sun rises. Now the full moon of September is usually called the Harvest Moon because it is bright and visible for several nights in a row, thus giving farmers, before the invention of electric lights, the opportunity to harvest their crops by the light of the moon. But officially the Harvest Moon is always the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of autumn which is September 22nd. So because this September's full moon is so incredibly early in the month the Harvest Moon name will now go to October's full moon which occurs on October 2nd.

But this Sunday's full moon won't go unnamed because the September full moon has another name, 'The Fruit Moon'. So called because some fruit crops are ripe for picking in September, like apples, peaches and pears. Even so, this full moon isn't going to be all that peachy because it will be the smallest and dimmest full moon of the year. Why?

Simple. It will be the farthest full moon of the year. Now the average distance of the full moon is 240,000 miles, but that distance can vary a lot. On February 8th we had the closest full moon of the year which was only 222,000 miles away. But this Sunday's full moon will be 30,000 miles farther away, 252,000 miles which means that this Sunday's full moon will be 14% smaller and 30% dimmer. Wow!

And after you've found the full moon in the east you might want to also look south where you'll see summer's most famous constellation, Scorpius the Scorpion with brilliant bright Mars to its left. But since summer's almost over, by 11:00 it will have set. And if you go out a few hours later, 2:00 or 3:00 A.M. and look east you will see winter's famous constellation, Orion the Hunter, rising. It's like we're saying farewell to summer with the Scorpion setting and getting a preview of winter with Orion rising. In fact you will never ever see Scorpius and Orion in the sky at the same time. You see, according to the ancient Greeks, Orion once boasted that he could subdue any creature on earth whereupon a goddess who overheard him told the Scorpion and the Scorpion promptly stung Orion on the heel, and ever since Orion keeps his distance. Only after Scorpius sets will Orion rise and vice versa. Dueling constellations and the dimmest full moon of the year. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#01-35M

8/27/2001 thru 9/2/2001

"This September's Non-Harvest Moon"

 

Horkheimer: This September's full moon will not be the Harvest Moon. Why? Well, the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, which is September 22nd is called the Harvest Moon and this September's full moon on the 2nd is so early, the Harvest Moon name will now go to the full moon on October 2nd. Long ago before electric lights farmers used the light of the Harvest Moon to harvest their crops after sunset. So it's just as well that this September full moon is not the Harvest Moon because it will be the farthest, smallest and dimmest full moon of the year, 14% smaller and 30% dimmer than the closest and brightest full moon on February 8th. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only
Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer

 



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